Alinma Bank has concluded a financing agreement with Ewaan Alfareeda Company Ltd., pursuant to which the bank will offer Shariah-compliant financing to the company totaling SAR 400 million as part of the company's plan to develop its Alfareeda housing project in Jeddah. The signing ceremony took place on Monday, December 26, 2011 at the head office of the bank in Riyadh. In attendance were Mr. Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, CEO of Alinma Bank, Mr. Riad Ahmed Al Thaqafi, chairman of the board of directors of Ewaan, and other representatives from both parties.
Speaking about the agreement, Mr. Al-Fares said that it represented an important development in the effort to provide much needed housing in Saudi Arabia. "The signing of this agreement with Ewaan today comes within the framework of Alinma's interest in and contribution to providing necessary funding for various real estate projects in Saudi Arabia,” said Al-Fares. “And Alinma is pleased to participate in developing housing units needed by citizens.”
Al-Fares stressed that the bank had a commitment to corporate social responsibility and that the agreement would contribute to the bank's mission to help community members obtain adequate housing at affordable prices. He further noted that the agreement represented a fulfillment of the vision of national leadership to develop important business sectors that contribute to infrastructure, education, health and real estate.
Mr. Al-Fares added that Alinma Bank is eager to engage in strategic and fruitful partnerships within the real estate sector with experienced companies that are able to manage their investment projects successfully. Additionally, said Al-Fares, such partnerships confirm the leading role played by Alinma Bank in the provision of Shariah-compliant services to both retail and corporate partners (clients). The increasing numbers of partners and the growth of the bank's operations reflect the confidence enjoyed by the bank among its partners.
Mr. Riad Ahmed Al Thaqafi, the chairman of the board of directors of Ewaan, said that the signing of the agreement gave the company access to appropriate funding for the project and that it represented an important kind of partnership with the banking sector to support and develop the real estate market in Saudi Arabia. He added that the Alfareeda project, which is located in the northwest part of Jeddah, includes the development of more than 2000 medium-sized residential units with different models. The project is being implemented in partnership with Ewaan Global Residential Co., which oversees the development and marketing of the project.
Mr. Al Thaqafi explained that Ewaan Alfareeda is owned by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, a subsidiary of the Islamic Development Bank, Ewaan Global Housing and the International Investment Bank and aims at developing a housing project that serves the middle-income segment of society.
Mr. Fahad Al Mutawa, the CEO of Ewaan Global Residential Co., explained that the agreement would accelerate the pace of work on the project and that it would provide the opportunity for participation and exchange of benefit with investors, developers and financing authorities in such a way that achieves the objectives of the company in developing residential projects needed by citizens.
Mr. Al Mutawa added that the real estate market needs initiatives such the one undertaken by Alinma Bank in financing such a vital project. He noted that many developers face financing-related obstacles and he further expressed his hope that the banking sector would take the example of this initiative to increase financing of housing projects.
Ewaan Global Residential Co. is a closed Saudi joint stock company that was established as an initiative of a number of institutions, companies and businessmen, headed by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the Real Estate Development Company, the Public Pension Agency, and the International Investment Bank, in addition to a number of companies and businessmen, totaling 19 founders. The company endeavors to develop full-service residential units for middle-income segments at competitive prices and with high quality. The company also seeks to achieve integration in all its actions and projects that include all modern requirements needed by its targeted segment. The company was licensed as a joint stock company in December 2011 and is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
It is worth mentioning that Alinma Bank has entered into several strategic partnerships to support the real estate sector in Saudi Arabia. It has signed an agreement with Deutsche Gulf Finance to enhance real estate joint financing and provide funding programs in the Kingdom.
The bank has also signed an agreement with Dar Al-Tamleek, which specializes in housing finance. Moreover, the bank provides a range of flexible real estate financing services through all of its 65 branches for men and ladies and provides its partners with exemplary electronic services that include Alinma Internet (www.alinma.com), Alinma Mobile, Alinma Phone (8001208000) and its network of 380 ATMs.